RI probing closed technical school's records

Jan 4, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The Rhode Island Office of Higher Education says it’s working to secure the records of some 1,500 students left in the lurch when a career training school abruptly closed down.

Spokesman for the Office of Higher Education, Mike Trainor, says over the weekend the state will secure the academic and financial records of the 302 Rhode Island students and 1,200 Connecticut students. He says all of the school’s records, going back to 1964, are on paper so it will take a while to sort everything out.

“While we cannot put a firm date on when the distribution will be complete,” says Trainor, “it’s our hope that a substantial portion of these records will be in the hands of students by the end of next week.”

Trainor says state police and the U.S. Department of Education are investigating the Sawyer School. He says it’s unclear who is running the school.

Joshua Miller of East Providence was a business student with about three months left to complete his degree. He says he feels useless.

Former Sawyer School student Joshua Miller
Credit Catherine Welch

“Because I thought I was going to have a job in a couple of months and start my life over. And then I find out that I’m stuck right now, I’m not going anywhere,” says Miller. “I’ve got to basically lay low and see what’s going to happen with all of this.”

Miller says he was hoping to start a new career this year as a CPA.

The Lincoln Technical School has offered to take some of Sawyer’s students. And five other schools and colleges have offered to help former Sawyer students transfer their education.Rhode Island’s congressional delegation is urging Education Secretary Arne Duncan to step in and help students.

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